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Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the news-for-nerds dept.

Stats 211

New submitter Bodhammer (559311) writes "German researchers looked at the brains of 64 men between the ages of 21 and 45 and found that one brain region (the striatum, linked to reward processing), was smaller in the brains of porn watchers, and that a specific part of the same region is also less activated when exposed to more pornography." While it's tempting to cast blame, "the study doesn't confirm whether watching porn causes the changes, or whether people with a certain brain type are inherently more apt to tune into X-rated content." The study's abstract is available; the paper itself is pay-walled.

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At least spell it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143203)

Pr0n

prost! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143221)

At last a study that concerns /.ers more than any of the other stuff to be found here lately.

douchest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143867)

nt

Re:prost! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144149)

At last a study that concerns /.ers ...

What I want to know is where on Earth they found the control group?

Golf ball (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143225)

My brain must he the size if a golf ball then.

Re:Golf ball (2)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47143313)

No, just that particular region. Can a brain region be measured in negative area?

Do you give up higher cerebral function (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#47143229)

in exchange for instant gratification of a primal nature?

Almost certainly.

Don't worry though, the reason you'll prosper if you live long is because aging gradually erodes the hold your base urges have upon you.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47143485)

in exchange for instant gratification of a primal nature?
Almost certainly.

Hahaha. But don't assume. OP left out something that is important to keep in mind here: most people in modern society watch pornography to some extent. They even admit to it in polls (which means the polls probably don't count everybody who really does).

Putting 2 and 2 together, that means that the people with the larger brain region are the abnormal ones. You should be asking what THEY "give up" in exchange for this deviance (from the norm, that is).

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (5, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 6 months ago | (#47143569)

Don't assume it means anything—the striatum's primary function is coordinating motor control. If there is a meaningful causal link and this study is not just a p-value fishing expedition, it is so convoluted as to be incomprehensible.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (2)

mod prime (3597787) | about 6 months ago | (#47144005)

But the striatum interacts with other brain structures such as the frontostriatal circuit, which does mediate behaviour.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 6 months ago | (#47144725)

Now that I've had a chance to sit down and read through both the study and a few other things... you're correct, but it's not completely clear-cut, at least in my opinion, that the changes under consideration actually relate to reward-seeking, addict-like behaviour and aren't simply, say, a lack of sexual development due to being single.

They found a variety of different features in their test subjects (actual anatomical differences, differences in activity level within the caudate, differences in interconnectedness between pudamen and caudate...) and saw these were strongly correlated with level of pornography use, on the basis of addiction. However, there were some people in the study who used alcohol in a mildly problematic way. They showed only a r = ~0.25 (weak positive correlation) with porn usage. That strikes me as pretty inconsistent—if these are pathways strongly implicated in addictive behaviour, why didn't the drunks line up more neatly with their data? They don't mention alcoholism again in the discussion, except to draw parallels between porn usage and various forms of drug usage, and to suggest psychiatrists should ask about porn usage.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | about 6 months ago | (#47143795)

It goes beyond that. Much of what we see day to day in technically non-porn magazines, billboards, TV commercials, signage in department stores, etc. would have been considered to be porn at various times in our history. Heck, when I was assigned to read, "The Scarlet Letter" in high school, it was immediately clear that it wasn't great writing. It was just 1800's porn.

Porn is not really an easily defined term. Any study that wants to be taken seriously needs to be very explicit as to what they are defining as "porn".

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143983)

Porn is not really an easily defined term. Any study that wants to be taken seriously needs to be very explicit as to what they are defining as "porn".

Yeah, I just love it when supposedly 'scientific' studies use subjective terminology and criteria as if they're objective and expect anyone with an ounce of intelligence to take them seriously. You see that a lot in psychology.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144053)

Log off Mr. Cruise, no one here is gonna buy it.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 6 months ago | (#47144245)

Any study that wants to be taken seriously needs to be very explicit as to what they are defining as "porn".

Well, Duh, porn ain't worth squat if it isn't explicit.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 6 months ago | (#47144507)

Heck, when I was assigned to read, "The Scarlet Letter" in high school, it was immediately clear that it wasn't great writing. It was just 1800's porn.

Its good to know that you were such a fine literary critic as to dismiss one of the classic pieces of American literature in high school. Not everyone is certain of just how smart they are and how dumb everyone else is in high school.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47144551)

Much of what we see day to day in technically non-porn magazines, billboards, TV commercials, signage in department stores, etc. would have been considered to be porn at various times in our history.

Ha! I knew it! Advertising causes smaller brains!

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144091)

Much more importantly, the study found correlation to *self reported porn watching*. Thus it's much more likely what they found was reverse correlation to willingness to lie, or any other number of social constructs.

Re:Do you give up higher cerebral function (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144241)

in exchange for instant gratification of a primal nature?

Instant gratification?

Not at all. I spend a lot of time & effort searching for & downloading high-quality pr0n :)

Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 months ago | (#47143231)

Where did they find them?

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143285)

I watched a TED talk about the effect of pornography on the male brain and the presenter described how difficult it was for him to find control subjects for his study.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143385)

Somehow I'd bet the brain area in question is larger in compulsive liars, regardless of the exposure to adult entertainment.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (4, Insightful)

WillKemp (1338605) | about 6 months ago | (#47143817)

I watched a TED talk about the effect of pornography on the male brain and the presenter described how difficult it was for him to find control subjects for his study.

That suggests that they've got their idea of "control" back to front.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144311)

Could you masturbate in an MRI machine or with an array of electrodes on your head? With people watching?

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (3, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 months ago | (#47143409)

"Where did they find them?"

after the teenage burst, its really easy to quit porn. when i was a teen porn there was no such thing as too much porn, but the older i got the less interested in it i was. i think my record is 3 years no porn and of course no masturbation. but then again i am not typical and haven't even had sex, despite being 36 years old. and yes i am still living in my parents basement. but i pay rent to them they needed the extra income and they are getting older and it is good to see them once in a while.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143519)

I am male and I don't usually use any porn for masturbation.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143889)

You get fewer paper cuts by using your hand any way.

Re: Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143575)

Dude, get a box of condoms and try a hooker. It's going to wither away if you don't use it.

Re: Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (1, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 months ago | (#47144751)

Dude, get a box of condoms and try a hooker.

Condoms have limited efficacy against herpes and HPV, both of which you'll get to enjoy for the rest of your life if you manage to catch them. To each their own, but I'd reconsider the hooker suggestion and just stick with the porn, there's no orgasm worth a lifetime affliction....

Re: Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143755)

Try posting on craigslist if yourlooking to get laid. Worked pretty well for my firzt but not so much after. However waiting so long, it'll be a couple times before you can actually feel anything or get off no matter how long you go at it. Took almost 3 hours my first, never less than 30 minutes since.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (4, Informative)

schnell (163007) | about 6 months ago | (#47144671)

i think my record is 3 years no porn and of course no masturbation. but then again i am not typical and haven't even had sex, despite being 36 years old.

Correct. You are not typical. Your experience may be very normal in a community you would identify with such as asexuality [asexuality.org] , or it could potentially be associated with a disorder, such as hyposexuality [wikipedia.org] .

Your situation may be entirely healthy and rewarding for you, and that's great. And, frankly, you have probably saved a lot of money, time and heartache compared to many of us on the other side of that spectrum! I would just caution you not to use it as a yardstick for most other people in judging questions of sexuality.

Re:Presumably this is relative to porn abstainers (1)

tloh (451585) | about 6 months ago | (#47144335)

Amish communities?

It's the other way around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143241)

The brain of the non-porn watchers is swollen!

This means... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143259)

watching enough porn ensures a clear mind, not distracted from ancient reward mechanisms in decision-making. It also leaves more room for important brain functions.

Why else should special agents like 007 be so damn cool? Lot's of sex is probably working even better than watching lots of porn.

64? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143269)

Holy shit, 64 brains!? That's gotta be a percentage of the human race or something!

FAP FAP FAP FAP

Well (1)

relisher (2955441) | about 6 months ago | (#47143275)

Well shit

Paradox. Impossible to confirm. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143293)

No one who is interested in researching this subject has the mental capacity to do so.

Does Size Matter? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143295)

Seeing as we have no evidence that such an area being smaller is a good or a bad thing I would caution away from using this information as anything more than an observation.

Re:Does Size Matter? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143337)

Your girlfriend or wife will say no, it's how you use it, but that's only a half truth.

Someone with a smaller striatum who knows how to use it is likely going to give more pleasure than someone with a large striatum who is clueless about how the female brain works, but women prefer someone with a large striatum who knows how to use it over either.

Of course, your striatum can be too large - and despite what you see in the movies, women do not like having their hippocampus jostled by some monster brainpart.

Re:Does Size Matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143801)

Ah, the good old Brain Penis!

Re:Does Size Matter? (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about 6 months ago | (#47143351)

Does size matter? Not when you're fapping to porn I guess.

Re:Does Size Matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143417)

What about technique? If you spend years fapping with the goal of getting off, what happens when/if you find yourself having sex with a woman? Are you going to be able last long enough to bring her pleasure or are those years of training/fapping going to affect you? Hmmmmm...

Re:Does Size Matter? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#47143699)

I just use a smaller font to better match my dick. (Please, no WingDing jokes.)

Re:Does Size Matter? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 6 months ago | (#47143467)

The portion of the brain that shrinks is the region which helps one distinguish attractive women from nasty sluts.

Re:Does Size Matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143517)

Size most certainly matters when it comes to the heart or liver.

bunch of liars (2, Funny)

KiloByte (825081) | about 6 months ago | (#47143297)

In other words, people with a smaller brain region are less capable of speaking the truth.

Re:bunch of liars (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 months ago | (#47143321)

And KiloBytes seem to have a problem with reading comprehension.

Re:bunch of liars (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 6 months ago | (#47143473)

There are three kinds of men:
* those who admit to watching porn / ogling women /etc
* those who lie
* those below the age of 12

Re:bunch of liars (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 6 months ago | (#47144033)

I think binarylarry's assumption is that people lie by saying they don't read/watch/use porn when they do, rather than lie that they do when they don't. (Based on the assumption that it's socially more acceptable to deny that accusation.) And therefore, the ones claiming non-use are the liars, and thus the larger striatum was a component of the propensity of or capacity for lying.

Well, (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#47143309)

...

100% (1)

mattyj (18900) | about 6 months ago | (#47143311)

So I'm guessing their control subject brains were in jars and were collected 100's of years ago, because if you pick 64 random dudes anywhere on Earth, 64 of them will be porn watchers.

Re:100% (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#47143431)

I'm not so sure. As I got older and had a kid, I don't really have the stomach for exploitation any more.

It's why I don't watch porn or college football like I used to. I can't really chalk it up to growth, because I'm still the same jerk I ever was, but I can't enjoy seeing people get used and hurt.

Having said that, if the Blackhawks lose game 7 tonight against the Kings, I may have to turn to pornhub to assuage my existential pain.

Re:100% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143815)

Whoever wins had better beat the Rangers!

Re:100% (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | about 6 months ago | (#47143851)

I don't really have the stomach for exploitation any more.

Porn =/= exploitation. It's not hard to find non-exploitative porn.

Peer reviewed? (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about 6 months ago | (#47143323)

Has this study been peer reviewed yet?

Re:Peer reviewed? (2)

WarJolt (990309) | about 6 months ago | (#47143359)

Only by these guys http://www.xxxchurch.com/ [xxxchurch.com] .

Lemme get this straight... (4, Funny)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about 6 months ago | (#47143325)

So all guys have a smaller region of the brain?

Correlation does not imply causation (2, Insightful)

volkerdi (9854) | about 6 months ago | (#47143343)

More pseudoscience. They say that they're not sure whether this means that porn shrinks your brain, or if the shrunken brain causes porn viewing. But, this leaves out the very real possibility that this correlation means nothing whatsoever. The site below collects correlations that look pretty convincing in the graphs, but quite obviously are unlikely to be cases of causation in either direction:

http://www.tylervigen.com/ [tylervigen.com]

Re:Correlation does not imply causation (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 6 months ago | (#47143481)

They were thinking with the wrong head, perhaps.

Some of the most inspired ideas came with little heads.

In fact, to cure "smaller portions" I've noticed porn is a "swell" idea ....

... On my slack time, of course.

;-)

Re:Correlation does not imply causation (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 6 months ago | (#47143589)

Well, sure, there are many correlations among things that obviously have no relationship to each other. If you take all data on all topics under the sun, I'm sure you can find tons of coincidences.

But we do know that the brain influences behavior, and our experience shapes our brain. Therefore, it stands to reason that it's pretty likely that watching porn causes a small striatum, or a small striatum causes men to watch more porn, or some other factor is causing both. It might be a coincidence from that data, but we could discover if this is the case by collecting more data. If the correlation becomes much weaker from more data, we can then conclude that it was just a coincidence. This is why we repeat experiments in science, so no, this is not pseudoscience as you claim.

Re:Correlation does not imply causation (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 6 months ago | (#47143857)

You forgot the possibility that a large striatum causes men to lie about watching porn.

Re:Correlation does not imply causation (3, Insightful)

mod prime (3597787) | about 6 months ago | (#47143825)

It's a technical paper in a medical journal. The intended audience doesn't need to be taught the fundamentals of statistics. That's why it was 'left out'.

everyone's a brain scientist now (3, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#47143349)

This is an interesting question to research but I wish TFA wasn't paywalled b/c there are several factors they'd need to address that aren't mentioned in the description.

1. is this just *watching* porn or watching and fapping...also fapping w/o any physical media stimuli

2. they'd need to compare a control test with a completely different behavior/stimuli that triggers those same parts of the brain...it's "reward center" so maybe something with video games or receiving compliments on your appearance

3. what about actual sex? does it do the same thing to this part of the brain? I know /.'ers probably can't imagine this but it's possible to have sex too much so I'd definitey need to see if actual sex is any different than their results with porn.

those are some good starters...plenty of room for further research which means job security ;)

"brain scientist" (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 6 months ago | (#47143447)

Well, at least "foot scientists" know some bits about how feet work, unlike "brain scientists" who know about jack squat how brains work.

Re:everyone's a brain scientist now (3, Interesting)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | about 6 months ago | (#47143471)

As someone with a long history of depression and high intelligence I've spent quite a bit of time trying to understand my condition. One thing I've noted frequently is that I tend to derive less enjoyment than other people from most activities. (I think this is a cause of the depression rather than a result of it.) The most notable exception is sexual gratification, whether from sex with a partner or from masturbation. I don't find this surprising as I think that it is such a basic part of the way our brains are wired. Given that I am not in a relationship more often than I am, I frequently watch porn to masturbate.

So in my case, I'd say it seems likely that a deficiency in the part of the brain associated with reward processing causes a greater exposure to porn.

Re:everyone's a brain scientist now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144623)

Try not to take this defensively, but your claim goes in the face of just about everything that is known about depression. As someone in the same boat (come on does anyone think they aren't intelligent, or have a bad sense of humor?) a lot of times smart people can get really weird ideas about depression because they are grasping at straws. You're looking at this completely backwards, and it worries me others might see it and apply the same logic and forgo things that would help them.

The reason why you are attaining some level of gratification from sex and/or masturbation is because you are self-medicating. You are getting something out of it. It is basically acting as a mild anti-depressant. This can actually become kind of dangerous, where you'll find people going into a cycle of depression and masturbating 10 times a day because it makes them feel more normal and can then cause escalation where you're looking for weirder and weirder stuff.

It's the exact same reason that exercise has been shown to help people with mild to moderate depression the same way that antidepressants can -- but it has the issue that you can't just sit there. Energy levels for depressed people are really low, so getting into an exercise routine can feel beyond them. There are some weird ones, like cigarettes seem to have compounds that somewhat deflect depression -- there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of somewhat depressed people stopping smoking and then really spiraling. Interestingly, vaping doesn't seem to have an effect, so it isn't just nicotine.

Anyways, sorry for what you are going through and I hope you're able to get help. Even if you are super super smart, this is not the sort of thing you can think or hack your way out of unless it is mild and you catch it very quickly.

Re:everyone's a brain scientist now (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 6 months ago | (#47143771)

1. It is 'consuming porn' which can be either

2. It wasn't an experiment it was a correlational study, so no control is needed.

3. Out of scope

Fortunately you didn't need to get beyond the paywall to answer them. And although I don't have access to the JAMA network, having read a lot of psych papers I'm confident a phrase such as 'suggests further research is required' is in there.

everyone's consuming porn now (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#47143829)

1. It is 'consuming porn' which can be either

I missed this in TFA...didn't see any distinction made or definition of "consuming" as including fapping.

Where did you get that?

Re:everyone's consuming porn now (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 6 months ago | (#47143869)

Consumption of pornography is typically a term used to denote the viewing of pornography. This was a relatively simple correlational study of a set of individuals reporting their typical porn consumption in the context of their private lives. I see no evidence in their figures or conclusions that indicate they made any effort to separate out what people might be doing while consuming pornography. Therefore it can be either and more.

So the "you'll go blind" thing could be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143353)

So the "you'll go blind" thing could be right after all...

Re:So the "you'll go blind" thing could be right (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#47143723)

Dontt bee silley, i t haas noot offect ed me eeysihgtt

Island (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 6 months ago | (#47143361)

I heard that Island is going to delegalize pr0n - could this act of law be considered a mutilation of innocent Island males then as it obviously affects their brains?

Re:Island (1)

DeathElk (883654) | about 6 months ago | (#47143393)

Which island? Australia?

watching porn = weight loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143377)

Shrink unneeded areas of the brain, lower your center of gravity, and reduce neck pain! Watch porn today!

so did they really find men that don't watch porn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143381)

or did they find some men that watch porn and some men that lie

Re:so did they really find men that don't watch po (1)

mod prime (3597787) | about 6 months ago | (#47143773)

Less than 5% of the men reported approximate 0/hours week consumption.

Striatum (5, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | about 6 months ago | (#47143387)

The striatum is implicated in ADHD and several studies have indicated reduced grey matter volume in that region for ADHD sufferers. Failure in the dopamine pathways will generally cause engagement in dopamine releasing activities, as a method of self medication.

So it's not like finding a correlation between dopamine seeking and striatum deficiencies is unexpected. And the most likely direction of causation is that the deficient reward region causes the increased porn watching.

Frankly I find the gleeful reporting on the issue to be somewhat offensive. Insinuating that what is probably an inherent handicap is something the handicapped did to themselves by being 'immoral' is quite disgusting.

Re:Striatum (1)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | about 6 months ago | (#47143541)

This is interesting. I posted elsewhere [slashdot.org] the idea that something like a "striatum deficiency" (as you phrase it) may be the cause of my depression and frequent porn watching. I didn't think of ADHD, but a few years ago I was diagnosed as having ADHD.

Re: Striatum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143927)

It's funny you say that. I am an adult that has been diagnosed as having ADHD, though to be honest - I'm not sure I believe it is actually anything abnormal but hey, they give you speed which is great, LOL. It's been years that I have been "treated" for my ADHD, and my masturbation and appetitie for porn has gone up exponentially. I could go a couple of weeks without beating off before, now I can go a day or two sometimes and not think about doing it at most. And some days, I masturbate every few hours. I don't technically need the porn to do so, but I do feel more "satisfied" when I do, as in immediately after I feel no need to go out and find "real" sex, whereas if I just masturbate without porn I'm more likely to call up a fuck buddy later that day and have sex. It's useful because I often just don't have time to do that, and it's so much less hassle as well.

Re:Striatum (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 6 months ago | (#47144329)

Frankly I find the gleeful reporting on the issue to be somewhat offensive. Insinuating that what is probably an inherent handicap is something the handicapped did to themselves by being 'immoral' is quite disgusting.

That is actually a very good point. The constraints of society are possibly very connected to Pornography and it's use. SO acting like it's all hairy palms and "Yer brain is a-gonna shrink!" is just nastiness.

Men's primal reproductive urges are not intrinsically tied into monogamy. Whereas women do have a strong interest in getting and keeping one male.

A male can father a lot of offspring, so it is possible that there was some reproductive advantage to serial partners. From his standpoint. It is interesting how the difference has arisen between the sexes.

Today, with the artificially extended childhood we use, where we think that people are too young to get married and have families at an age where they would have already been grandparents around a century ago, some even starting families at an age beyond their anticipated life expectancy at that time, puts further pressure on men to be monogamous.

So even without masturbation involved, men tend to have a strong interest in more than one woman, so porn has a big market. I'm firmly convinced that it's ubiquity is directly related to being an outlet for their interests that doesn't threaten pair bonding.

Re:Striatum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144441)

What about the effect that I have also observed where over time a given pornographic stimulus no longer carries the same weight as a stimulus, leading to seeking out more specific and arousing content that does (which usually continues in a spiral over time). I personally try to restrict my usage because I find it interferes with the pleasure I receive from my real girlfriend. As an example scenario, if I were to watch an hour of porn a day over a week, gradually more and more hard core content, I find that after a week my mind feels number to regular sex and I am no longer as aroused. Abstaining from porn for a period of a week or so reverses this mostly in my case.
Disclaimer: I do have low level depressive tendencies which may impact the results.

In other news (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 6 months ago | (#47143395)

Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Almost Everything, If You Parse The Data Correctly (FTFY)

I named it. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#47143403)

Are we talking about the big brain or the little brain?

Was smaller in the brains of porn watchers, i.e., (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about 6 months ago | (#47143507)

men.

Yeah, well... (1)

sootman (158191) | about 6 months ago | (#47143533)

... at least my forearms are huge.

Re:Yeah, well... (2)

bunratty (545641) | about 6 months ago | (#47143623)

Well, one forearm anyway.

Re:Yeah, well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144481)

Amateur.

Cheetos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143563)

Even more shockingly, study finds that participants who were fed cheetos turn out with orange penises. No one knows why.

Porn is visual - fewer senses, less reward (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143671)

Couldn't this be due to the fact that watching porn is a primarily visual stimulation, whereas actual sex involves all the senses? Less stimulation, less "reward processing" needed,leading to the striatum being used less.

Perhaps getting them laid more often for a few months and then retesting them would see the striatum increasing in size.

Re:Porn is visual - fewer senses, less reward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47143873)

FTFA:

But because the areas of the brain that appear to be affected are linked to rewards and motivation and decision making, some have suggested that porn watchers may be lazier and poor decision-makers.

Sounds more like they tested Democrats

Simple enough (1)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#47143859)

The smaller the reward region of the brain, the more porn it takes to activate it.

Too late (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 6 months ago | (#47143905)

This made it on /. too late, local media here is already spinning it as "porn makes you stupid (and blind)".

Fuck (1)

WyldPhyr (3622571) | about 6 months ago | (#47144031)

Do I have to stop?

Well (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144049)

Once you jack off to Japanese girls puking in each other's mouths, you can't exactly go back to Playboy.

Re:Well (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 6 months ago | (#47144339)

Once you jack off to Japanese girls puking in each other's mouths, you can't exactly go back to Playboy.

Or to civilized society for that matter.

Too lazy to score. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144195)

The brain area is linked to motivation and decision making. Those who lack it are obviously less motivated to go outside and score a girlfriend. Plus, girlfriends take effort to keep happy. Those unmotivated dudes are still just as horny though. And according to the study it takes a lot of stimulation to effect that part of the brain, much more than other people. Hence, porn.

It's a classic chicken and egg question.

As far as I know (1)

Bismuthprince (2938227) | about 6 months ago | (#47144257)

There are only two groups of people:

People who watch porn and Liars.

We can safely conclude that liars have slightly more active brains.

Vague comments (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 6 months ago | (#47144675)

This article has some very vague commentary in it. For example - "brain volume". What are they measuring exactly? Total brain volume? Seems to imply that, but then later they talk about the size of an individual region of the brain.

Now, that's interesting because measuring the size of a brain region is quite tricky. For one thing, if a region seems to shrink, then you're mostly looking at activation patterns. It's not like you lose neurons - it's well known that the brain tends to swap and recruit neurons between brain regions - quite a plastic organ.

And that rather changes the interpretation, since the region they say they're measuring is associated with sexuality stimulus response. Which makes the conclusion kind of mundane: people who watch pornography (and I'll bet a lot of people who are in pornography - or maybe just on HBO) have a reduced response to sexual stimuli.

Is that really a bad thing?

TL;DR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47144755)

I can't read good.

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